Nikola Mirotic 28 points lead the Bulls over struggling Cavs

Mirotic celebrates after scoring

The Chicago Bulls beat the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night 99-93, sweeping the season series. Nikola Mirotic led the Bulls with 28 points including six 3-pointers and 10 rebounds. Mirotic tied season highs on both points and three pointers to move the Chicago Bulls within one game of Miami and Indiana for the 8 seed in the East.

Mirotic comments after the game

“I feel it’s my time now. It’s never too late,” Mirotic said. “It’s a very important moment for the team.”

Mirotic is averaging 24.8 points over the past four games, including 20 3-pointers. He becomes the first Bulls player to hit six 3-pointers in back to back games.

“It is great, it’s a great feeling,” Mirotic said after his performance. “I feel like my long shot has been great lately, I’ve also been making shots that are not 3s. Rondo has been finding me, he’s been looking for me.”

Mirotic Highlights from last night

Jimmy Butler getting help

Jimmy Butler scored 25 points for the Bulls, despite being popped in the eye in the second quarter. He went to the locker room but emerged back in the third to command the Bulls to the win.

Rondo helped ignite the explosion in the third quarter for the Bulls, dishing out 8 assists while the Bulls outscored the Cavs 37-21. Butler got the kind of help that keeps him fresh to take over the fourth quarter. He scored 10 of his 25 points in that period.

Playoff picture

The Bulls stand a game behind Indiana and Miami for the final spot in the playoffs with a remaining scheduled a lot easier than the other two teams. The Bulls face only one team with a winning record (Atlanta) while Miami plays the Raptors, the Cavs and Wizards. Indiana still has to take on the Cavs, Raptors, Bucks and Hawks.

–Al Milian